Author Topic: Not gonna go it alone  (Read 19585 times)

Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #400 on: July 29, 2019, 07:15:36 AM »
I am curious to know what you wrote on your list, you did write it didn't you my dear friend  ;D

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #401 on: July 29, 2019, 06:27:20 PM »
Thanks for keeping me accountable!

I did write down a list of things that need to get done this week, and it's in a place where I can see it throughout the day. The morning got away from me a little (a somewhat toxic friend messaged me today and sort of threw me for a loop), though, so I didn't make a very good list just for today. I did catch up on emails, though, so that's something good, I guess.

I'm back home a little earlier tonight than usual, so I'm hoping to use that time to make some good progress on a project I've gotten behind on.

Oh, but before I forget. I got a clothes catalog in the mail today. I was on the phone and flipping through it sort of mindlessly after it got back inside, and, of course, there was a section for lingerie and one of the models caught my eye. I was on the phone, though, so I set it down and said to myself "I'll get back to that later." I must have been thinking that it would be a freebie that wouldn't count (since it just came in the mail, so it must not be my fault if I look, right?) Thankfully, my phone call lasted long enough for me to get my head back in the game. When I did go back to the catalog, I tore out the coupons in the front cover and threw it away without going back to the underwear models.

Even after a few months without a relapse, these little things can still catch you by surprise. That old habit of thought kicked in right away sort of by default, and I feel lucky that I managed to get away from it without giving in.

But that's all for now. Here's to another new day!

squid

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #402 on: July 29, 2019, 08:41:48 PM »
Thanks for keeping me accountable!

I did write down a list of things that need to get done this week, and it's in a place where I can see it throughout the day. The morning got away from me a little (a somewhat toxic friend messaged me today and sort of threw me for a loop), though, so I didn't make a very good list just for today. I did catch up on emails, though, so that's something good, I guess.

I'm back home a little earlier tonight than usual, so I'm hoping to use that time to make some good progress on a project I've gotten behind on.

Oh, but before I forget. I got a clothes catalog in the mail today. I was on the phone and flipping through it sort of mindlessly after it got back inside, and, of course, there was a section for lingerie and one of the models caught my eye. I was on the phone, though, so I set it down and said to myself "I'll get back to that later." I must have been thinking that it would be a freebie that wouldn't count (since it just came in the mail, so it must not be my fault if I look, right?) Thankfully, my phone call lasted long enough for me to get my head back in the game. When I did go back to the catalog, I tore out the coupons in the front cover and threw it away without going back to the underwear models.

Even after a few months without a relapse, these little things can still catch you by surprise. That old habit of thought kicked in right away sort of by default, and I feel lucky that I managed to get away from it without giving in.

But that's all for now. Here's to another new day!

Nice work dude, stay strong and keep swimming!

Lero

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #403 on: July 30, 2019, 05:09:50 AM »
Blue, you're killing it. You bump into triggers but you don't relapse. This is the ultimate accomplishment.

achilles heel

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #404 on: July 30, 2019, 01:55:21 PM »
Oh, but before I forget. I got a clothes catalog in the mail today. I was on the phone and flipping through it sort of mindlessly after it got back inside, and, of course, there was a section for lingerie and one of the models caught my eye. I was on the phone, though, so I set it down and said to myself "I'll get back to that later." I must have been thinking that it would be a freebie that wouldn't count (since it just came in the mail, so it must not be my fault if I look, right?) Thankfully, my phone call lasted long enough for me to get my head back in the game. When I did go back to the catalog, I tore out the coupons in the front cover and threw it away without going back to the underwear models.

Even after a few months without a relapse, these little things can still catch you by surprise. That old habit of thought kicked in right away sort of by default, and I feel lucky that I managed to get away from it without giving in.

Good to see you made it past the trigger and good to know how even after 5 months staying very aware is absolutely neccessary. Every time you say "No!" you become stronger and will remember your decision when facing similar situations in the future. You, me and all the others here won't be "normal" no matter how long we stay clean, we must be prepared for those unexpected challenges and not let little thoughts develop into dangerous situations. Just keep going and keep inspiring!  :)

Lero

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #405 on: July 30, 2019, 02:33:58 PM »
You, me and all the others here won't be "normal" no matter how long we stay clean, we must be prepared for those unexpected challenges and not let little thoughts develop into dangerous situations. Just keep going and keep inspiring!  :)

This is very important. Too much P abuse has led to the creation of a pathway in the brain. That won't go away. It's the memory of your relationship with P. You will walk away from P, you won't crave it anymore, you won't have withdrawal anymore but taste it again and you will remember how it used to be. And the brain always remembers the fun part, it won't remember how shit you felt drowning in P. It's the perfect situation to go back to the road of perdition. Always careful, like day 1.

squid

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #406 on: July 30, 2019, 04:37:58 PM »
This is all true but also normal doesn't exist.  Whenever I compare myself to someone else it always make me feel bad because I know all the inner workings and secrets of my past - more than anyone else on earth.  And I only know a sliver of another person, the sliver they want to show me.  We must always be careful but also, our challenges make us strong!

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #407 on: July 30, 2019, 05:51:31 PM »
Nice work dude, stay strong and keep swimming!

Blue, you're killing it. You bump into triggers but you don't relapse. This is the ultimate accomplishment.

Thank you! I will just keep on swimming as best as I can!

Good to see you made it past the trigger and good to know how even after 5 months staying very aware is absolutely neccessary. Every time you say "No!" you become stronger and will remember your decision when facing similar situations in the future. You, me and all the others here won't be "normal" no matter how long we stay clean, we must be prepared for those unexpected challenges and not let little thoughts develop into dangerous situations. Just keep going and keep inspiring!  :)

Thanks, man, it's true. We just have to learn to live carefully because we don't know when the next trigger will come up. Plus, things that the rest of the world thinks are "normal" (like underwear catalogs) can be really triggering for us. It was crazy to me how automatic it was for my brain to say "I'll save that for later when I can really look those girls over." Luckily, I was able to step outside my thoughts and see them for what they were and remind myself that that isn't how I think anymore.

This is very important. Too much P abuse has led to the creation of a pathway in the brain. That won't go away. It's the memory of your relationship with P. You will walk away from P, you won't crave it anymore, you won't have withdrawal anymore but taste it again and you will remember how it used to be. And the brain always remembers the fun part, it won't remember how shit you felt drowning in P. It's the perfect situation to go back to the road of perdition. Always careful, like day 1.

Exactly, Day 1 every day. These addictive pathways are burned into our brains after a long time of abuse, and it doesn't take much for our brains to default to them. We have to stay aware and always be deliberate about where we let our thoughts go. I couldn't help having the thought that I would save those pictures for later, but I was in control of what I did with that thought. I said no and put the pictures in the garbage. On some level we can't control our thoughts, but we can control which thoughts we let stick around.

This is all true but also normal doesn't exist.  Whenever I compare myself to someone else it always make me feel bad because I know all the inner workings and secrets of my past - more than anyone else on earth.  And I only know a sliver of another person, the sliver they want to show me.  We must always be careful but also, our challenges make us strong!

You know, that's really true. And I think my own concept of "normal" isn't realistic either. I usually think that a normal person could look at underwear models all day and not be triggered or addicted or affected in any way. But the reality is that a normal person wouldn't look at underwear models all day. I think that normal people are immune to addictive sexual urges, but it's probably more true that normal people just don't expose themselves to them as much. When I think of the people I consider "normal," they would have thrown the catalog out without a second thought because it was junk mail: it's not like they would have kept the underwear section open on their table for a week and somehow be immune to it.

Maybe there's something to that. Maybe the trick is not to become immune to porn/urges/triggers but to learn to ignore them and just focus on living a "normal" life.

Today was a better day than yesterday, I think. It was a little more productive, and I have a much clearer idea of where I'm headed for the week. It feels a lot better to have a clear direction. There are still some things that I want to finish today, but I should have time for them.

I'm sure I've mentioned it before, but I have been listening to Tara Brach's book Radical Acceptance, and she just keeps hitting the nail on the head in every chapter. I feel like I have been learning a lot about accepting my life the way it is and myself the way I am and moving forward in healthier, more meaningful ways. Definitely would recommend it (she also has a lot of talks on YouTube if that's safe for you).

Here's to a great Day 1 tomorrow (no matter what day you're actually on)!

pichaelthompson

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #408 on: July 30, 2019, 09:11:09 PM »
Having a clear direction makes everything so much easier for me too, like I can just flow from one thing to the next. I feel like there is a part of me that always wants to be better, and do better....but at the same time there is a part of me that is content with who I am and able to appreciate everything around me. It is important for me to find a way to make these two sides coexist and understand that they support one another. Best of luck to you, you're doing great as always!

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #409 on: July 31, 2019, 06:59:08 PM »
Thanks a lot, man! Always great to hear from you, and I appreciate the support.


One of the roads I drive on pretty regularly has a strip club on it. For a long time, the sign out front sort of held my imagination captive whenever I go by, trying to think about what it must be like in there. Typical fantasy stuff. More recently, though, I have been warning myself ahead of time: You're getting close to that place, just don't obsess about it and think about something else. No fantasies, but still sort of wanting to fantasize.

Today, though, I was driving by and saw it out of the corner of my eye, and I was like, Oh yeah, that's there. Whatever. It didn't even register emotionally today, and it has been a source of turbulent feelings in the past. Could just have been a fluke, but I hope it's a sign of progress, and maybe I'll even get to the point one day where any trigger or urge for porn makes me say "Whatever" instead of "Oh no, be careful!" (Not that I want to let my guard down, but just that ignoring triggers can become more of a default than a deliberate thing.)

Aside from that, today was pretty chill. I got some work, just not as much as I had hoped. I'm realizing that I lose a lot of steam in the transitions between tasks/activities. Like I spend way too much time after I eat building up the courage to wash the dishes, or I spend way too much time getting out of bed after I've woken up. Or I might say that I'll put on a YouTube video while I wash the dishes and then spend way too much time just looking for a video to watch while I do the dishes. And I could have just washed them and been on to something else in a fraction of the time. Something I want to get more under control for sure.

Tomorrow's another day, let's make it a great one!

squid

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #410 on: July 31, 2019, 07:59:15 PM »
Quote
m realizing that I lose a lot of steam in the transitions between tasks/activities. Like I spend way too much time after I eat building up the courage to wash the dishes, or I spend way too much time getting out of bed after I've woken up. Or I might say that I'll put on a YouTube video while I wash the dishes and then spend way too much time just looking for a video to watch while I do the dishes. And I could have just washed them and been on to something else in a fraction of the time. Something I want to get more under control for sure.

Same with me, I never noticed it before because pmo hid it but yeah it's that habit of hiding in something digitally pleasant and entertaining.  I think it might be okay if it's not interfering with your art and passions, but if it is, it isn't cool.

Lero

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #411 on: August 01, 2019, 06:28:30 AM »
Thanks a lot, man! Always great to hear from you, and I appreciate the support.


One of the roads I drive on pretty regularly has a strip club on it. For a long time, the sign out front sort of held my imagination captive whenever I go by, trying to think about what it must be like in there. Typical fantasy stuff. More recently, though, I have been warning myself ahead of time: You're getting close to that place, just don't obsess about it and think about something else. No fantasies, but still sort of wanting to fantasize.

Today, though, I was driving by and saw it out of the corner of my eye, and I was like, Oh yeah, that's there. Whatever. It didn't even register emotionally today, and it has been a source of turbulent feelings in the past. Could just have been a fluke, but I hope it's a sign of progress, and maybe I'll even get to the point one day where any trigger or urge for porn makes me say "Whatever" instead of "Oh no, be careful!" (Not that I want to let my guard down, but just that ignoring triggers can become more of a default than a deliberate thing.)

Aside from that, today was pretty chill. I got some work, just not as much as I had hoped. I'm realizing that I lose a lot of steam in the transitions between tasks/activities. Like I spend way too much time after I eat building up the courage to wash the dishes, or I spend way too much time getting out of bed after I've woken up. Or I might say that I'll put on a YouTube video while I wash the dishes and then spend way too much time just looking for a video to watch while I do the dishes. And I could have just washed them and been on to something else in a fraction of the time. Something I want to get more under control for sure.

Tomorrow's another day, let's make it a great one!

I hear you, man. I definitely had moments when I thought: "Why the fuck did I have to be a P addict? Now I can't be a fucking normal human being! A catalog could make me relapse! Advertisement on the street could make me relapse! Being sent a normal beach picture could make me relapse!" I wished I could be normal and be able to see those things and feel nothing. But we can't really do anything about it. Maybe one day, who knows, but for now, we can't and we have to be super careful. We have to stay away from looking deliberately for those things and have a method to deal with seeing it by mistake. But you see, this thing annoys me less and less. I think less about the situation and more about how to keep doing it right. Anyway, a strip club shouldn't be a problem for you. Get inside! It's the real thing, not a screen! Ha Ha! I'm kidding (or not).

squid

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #412 on: August 01, 2019, 07:37:51 AM »
Ew strip clubs, I'd be careful about going in those.  Personally I stay away, they make me uncomfortable.  Keep up the good work blue!

Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #413 on: August 01, 2019, 08:50:58 AM »
You're doing great, and everything I've been reading in your journal shows so much commitment and self-awareness, and it's really impressive and inspiring. Keep it up!

pichaelthompson

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #414 on: August 01, 2019, 04:42:50 PM »
Always a pleasure to read your journal man, very relatable (especially with the transitions and Youtube) and continues to motivate and inspire me. One compromise I've made with myself recently: if I transition right from a meal to work right away, I can feel good about taking little pockets of time in the middle of my work to take mental breaks, thus making the work more effective and efficient. Keep it up!

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #415 on: August 01, 2019, 06:46:51 PM »
Same with me, I never noticed it before because pmo hid it but yeah it's that habit of hiding in something digitally pleasant and entertaining.  I think it might be okay if it's not interfering with your art and passions, but if it is, it isn't cool.

Yeah, getting away from PMO has really opened my eyes to a lot of other things in my life and habits. I think you're right about when it's okay to spend some digital time. Usually, putting something on while I eat or clean isn't a problem. But it can be if I end up procrastinating that productive thing just because I'm trying to find something worthless to watch while I do it, lol.

I think less about the situation and more about how to keep doing it right. Anyway, a strip club shouldn't be a problem for you. Get inside! It's the real thing, not a screen! Ha Ha! I'm kidding (or not).

Ew strip clubs, I'd be careful about going in those.  Personally I stay away, they make me uncomfortable.  Keep up the good work blue!

Lol, I think I'm with squid on this one. Definitely not an option for me. A strip club might not be porn on a screen, but it's also not a meaningful relationship (and that's the only thing that counts as the real thing for me!) Plus I spent so much time and effort keeping my PMO habit a secret, I could never go out and do something public like that! Ha ha!

You're doing great, and everything I've been reading in your journal shows so much commitment and self-awareness, and it's really impressive and inspiring. Keep it up!

Always a pleasure to read your journal man, very relatable (especially with the transitions and Youtube) and continues to motivate and inspire me. One compromise I've made with myself recently: if I transition right from a meal to work right away, I can feel good about taking little pockets of time in the middle of my work to take mental breaks, thus making the work more effective and efficient. Keep it up!

Thanks so much for your support! It always means a lot a gives me a boost.

That sounds like a great compromise! Whenever things get really busy and it seems like there is more to do in a day than time to do, I have found a lot of success working for an hour and then goofing off for 15 minutes and then repeating that cycle until I'm done. Those little breaks count for a lot! But I always forget about that when things aren't as stressful. I wonder what I could get done if I applied that habit to the rest of my life and not just final-exams season?

Today was another pretty pleasant day. I woke up and got out of bed much quicker than I have lately (and with way less screen time). Exercised, did my morning routine, and then got to work. I made a lot of progress on a project that is a little behind schedule, went out to buy some home-improvement stuff, and got caught up again on emails. It was a way more productive day than I've had in a while, and I'm pretty sure it's because I started out by writing it all down. One of the first things I did today was make a list and a plan for what I was going to do and when I was going to do it.

You know, I spend a lot of time worrying about the purpose or direction for my life. I can't figure all that out, but I can figure out a purpose or direction for each day. If I can just focus on making each day great, I can probably end up having a life that is too.

Maybe that's too existential. Here's to a great tomorrow!

squid

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #416 on: August 01, 2019, 09:25:48 PM »
Great work.  Morning exercises give me so much energy :)

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #417 on: August 02, 2019, 05:50:03 PM »
Great work.  Morning exercises give me so much energy :)

Thanks! I bought an actual real weight yesterday (lol) and used it today when I exercised. Definitely something has changed for me: it used to be that the thought of lifting a weight or doing any kind of sweaty working out would be a non-starter for me. I was kind of excited about it today though, and I felt ready to go after working out. It took a while of doing other things (like yoga) to get me to this point, but it's evidence that we really can change. I have exercised before because I knew I had to, but I have never looked forward to it before.

The rest of the day was pretty good, too. I ran into someone I haven't seen in a few months and we caught up. Then I went to work and came home to watch a couple episodes of a comedy and have dinner. Now I'm posting here and thinking about calling it a night a little earlier than usual. Who knows? The night is young, as they say.

Here's to a great weekend!

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #418 on: August 03, 2019, 06:52:15 PM »
Quiet day today. Worked on some projects throughout the day, took some time relax, not much to it.

A wave of sadness sort of overtook me this afternoon. It's a little better now, but it's hard to say what triggered it. I think in a lot of ways, I'm just still not where I want to be in life and I'm just not sure what to do about it. Guess all I can do (like I told myself earlier this week lol) is to take it a day at a time.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow. I have a social event to go to that could be really good (or really a waste). The only way to find out is to go and see what happens. Fingers crossed!

squid

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #419 on: August 03, 2019, 08:58:40 PM »
I feel that way too sometimes.  You are doing really well, keep your goal in mind and take it step by step

Lero

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #420 on: August 04, 2019, 04:17:28 AM »
Quiet day today. Worked on some projects throughout the day, took some time relax, not much to it.

A wave of sadness sort of overtook me this afternoon. It's a little better now, but it's hard to say what triggered it. I think in a lot of ways, I'm just still not where I want to be in life and I'm just not sure what to do about it. Guess all I can do (like I told myself earlier this week lol) is to take it a day at a time.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow. I have a social event to go to that could be really good (or really a waste). The only way to find out is to go and see what happens. Fingers crossed!

It happened to me too. I had a moment of sadness like that for being single.

achilles heel

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #421 on: August 04, 2019, 04:54:23 AM »
You know, I spend a lot of time worrying about the purpose or direction for my life. I can't figure all that out, but I can figure out a purpose or direction for each day. If I can just focus on making each day great, I can probably end up having a life that is too.

Beautiful thought! :)

A wave of sadness sort of overtook me this afternoon. It's a little better now, but it's hard to say what triggered it. I think in a lot of ways, I'm just still not where I want to be in life and I'm just not sure what to do about it. Guess all I can do (like I told myself earlier this week lol) is to take it a day at a time.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow. I have a social event to go to that could be really good (or really a waste). The only way to find out is to go and see what happens. Fingers crossed!

You call it a wave and I think that's a good expression because waves come and go. Reboot isn't a linear process that steadily goes up and life itself will always hold negative moments and deceptions. Leaving addiction behind won't save us from sadness, but make us strong enough to handle it. You've been incredibly self-reflective on all situations and will make it through this too. I really hope the social event went well for you! :)

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #422 on: August 04, 2019, 07:00:31 PM »
You all continue to be the best! Thanks for you support and encouragement!

150 days today. The cleanest and strictest 150 days I can remember, and the longest (and most deliberate) clean stretch I've had in years. There are times when I've gone longer without PMO, but I couldn't tell you why I managed to do it then. It was just sort of accidental or a product of my circumstances. Now, though, I know exactly why I've made it 150 days. I'm aware of triggers, and I know what to do about them. I have a better handle on my internal state than ever before. Instead of just crossing my fingers and hoping I won't want to look at porn ever again, I can recognize that I probably will continue to want porn from time to time, but I don't just have to cross my fingers. I can make a choice. It's so basic and so obvious, but it's taken me years to realize. I don't have to let urges make the choice for me.

My next goal is 184 days. It's a weird number, but (if I'm doing the math right, lol) that will put me at 6 months even from the start of the current streak. It's the longest goal I've set (34 days), but I've heard it's good to push past the comfort zone every once in a while.

I really hope the social event went well for you! :)

Thanks! It actually went pretty well. I went to a potluck and ended up sitting at a table with some of my friends and a few women I hadn't met before. There was a lot of get-to-know-you stuff, but it was just sort of fun and pleasant. They seem like awesome women, and it was fun just to spend some time talking.

I have a bad habit of putting all my eggs in one basket way too quickly (falling for someone at the drop of a hat). So I'm being pretty deliberate about not doing that. I also have a worse habit of keeping it to myself (never talking to a person I'm particularly interested in). I sort of knew and hoped that the people I met today would be there today, and I'm glad that I went to their table and sat down (it helped that some of my friends were already there too) instead of just watching them from the other side of the room. It's all progress, and there's still potential. So we'll see where it goes.

This is looking like it will be a much busier week. School stuff is starting to pick back up again. The last semester was so rough that I can already feel myself dreading what's ahead, worrying that it will be as bad as it was. But I keep telling myself that that fear isn't realistic. The first part of this year was pretty bad for a lot of reasons, and none of them are still true for this next year.

So some good experiences and some typical worrying. An above-average day for me.

Forward to day 151!

Lero

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #423 on: August 05, 2019, 04:07:11 AM »
Damn, man! 150 days! That's an example of discipline for all of us.

I understand what you mean by saying you know how you got to 150 days. I could say the same for my 15 days. I know it's not as many, but we did it because of doing the right things, not by hoping luck would somehow make us survive. It wasn't accidental. I understand now what's like to want porn but choose not to do anything about it. This has been a big help for me. I like to look at it this way: "Recovery is pain but it's a short period in comparison to the rest of our lives. One day this big craving for porn will leave us alone." I'm just waiting for that day to come.

achilles heel

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #424 on: August 05, 2019, 10:34:06 AM »
150 is an amazing milestone, congratulations on your latest success and thanks for your constant support to me and the whole community!  :)

Good to see things went well at your event, I hope this means the wave of sadness vanished?